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The power of recognition can never be underestimated.  While the Best & Fairest vote counts were a main feature at the end-of-season presentation days, there were many more people (who often work ‘behind the scenes’) that were also recognised for their efforts during the 2015 season.

Please continue reading to find out who were our finalists in the McDonald’s Awards, SMJFL Awards and AFL Victoria Auskick & Coaching Awards.

As the league’s Development Partner – McDonald’s was also presenting partner of both the U11-13 and U14-17 presentation events. On top of their engagement with member clubs, and distribution of thousands of participation awards, their two end-of-season awards set to recognise two individuals making a great deal of difference in the SMJFL Community.

McDonald’s Volunteer of the Year Award – In presenting this award the SMJFL hopes to raise the recognition profile of volunteers, including those on match day, in teams, at venue operations. It is acknowledged that an army of volunteers run the SMJFL and this award aims to draw attention to the important contributions of those at club level outside of the Club Administrators and elected Committee. 

Finalists – Sam McKay (Prahran JFC)

Award Winner – Matt McLennan (Mordialloc-Braeside JFC)


McDonald’s Leadership Award – This award aims to reward and nurture those who stand out from the crowd with their enthusiasm, determination and effort in giving back to the junior football community. The McDonald’s SMJFL Leadership Award aims to help participants or umpires develop leadership skills such as organisation, communication and teamwork, as well as helping to build confidence and self-esteem as they take on responsibility of leading their peers and people within the SMJFL community.

Finalists – Logan Webster (SMJFL Umpires), Jack Kirkham (Caulfield JFC), Baeden Maurice (SMJFL Umpires)

Award Winner – Bradley Shea (Mordialloc-Braeside JFC)


SMJFL Club Administrator of the Year – This award honours and recognises an exceptional volunteer who has contributed significant time and effort to the running of their SMJFL Member Club. The winner will be an SMJFL Club Administrator who has demonstrated exceptional contribution and commitment helping at club level towards operational goals, or in running a special event or program. They must fulfill a role on the elected Committee of their Member Club (Presidents, secretaries, and other committee members)

Finalists – David Zivin (Ajax JFC), Madeline O’Connor (Prahran JFC), Lindsay Moore (Waverley Park JFC), Bree Vallance (Cheltenham JFC)

Award Winners –  Nicki Spencer (Beaumaris JFC), and Brooke Hannaford (Mordialloc-Braeside JFC)


SMJFL Sportsmanship Award – This is a new award and was inspired by last year’s Under 14 Division 1 East Sandringham team. Following a match-day administrative error, this team lost a Grand Final that they previously should have won. Their post-match behaviour exemplified outstanding sportsmanship and this was the inspiration for the SMJFL Sportsmanship Award, which will hopefully be an annual award. 

Award Winners – Cheltenham JFC

Passed on to us by an umpire of the match, and mentioned by spectators – this to recognise the effort of their Under 12 Team – coached by Trev Vearing. In the final term, players were volunteering to rotate to the bench in order to allow a dedicated player Alex to play. Alex has had a challenging football career as he receives ongoing treatment for a degenerative muscle condition. In 2015, only 5 games into the season, an operation severed his Achilles tendon – yet his teammates still wanted him at the games and especially to run out with them on Grand Final Day. With the full support of the team, he played the whole last quarter.


SMJFL Volunteer Club Umpire of the Year – this award recognises the efforts of the SMJFL Volunteer Club Umpires. Called on to umpire the ever growing number of teams competing in the modified rules competitions, these dedicated umpires have a tough job. This award aims to recognise those that control the games with enthusiasm and passion for junior football. The finalists and winner all umpire with impressive patience and positive attitude to players of both teams. All our volunteer umpires should aim to give these young kids a solid grounding for their football careers. 

Finalists – John Eliopoulos (East Malvern JFC), Timmy Jane (St Peters FC), Rob McArthur (Prahran JFC), Steve Camerotto (Waverley Park JFC), Sridhar Karuppasami (St Paul’s McKinnon), Matt Astill (East Sandringham), Gab Robinson (Oakleigh JFC), and Paul Healy (Mordialloc-Braeside JFC)

Award Winner – Joe Galati (St Bedes/Mentone JFC)


AFL Victoria Inner-Southern Region Awards 

Auskick Centre of the Year 

Finalists – Ormond Auskick, South Melbourne Districts Auskick, Bentleigh Auskick and Keysborough Eagles Auskick

Award Winner  – Dingley Auskick


Auskick Coordinator of the Year 

Finalists –  Chris Chalmers (Dingley), Paul Jemmeson (Bentleigh), Michele Peterson (Valstone/St Paul’s) and Alison McNeill (Noble Park)

Award Winner – David Wolf (South Melbourne Districts)


Auskick Coach of the Year 

Finalists – George Tsolozidis (Valstone/St Paul’s), Rodney Lowe (East Brighton), Russell Moody (Beau North/Black Rock) and  Kingsley Williams (Dingley)

Award Winner – Alan Hennan (Bentleigh)


Female Coach of the Year 

Finalists – Krista Bird (Dingley Auskick), and Alison McNeill (Noble Park Auskick & JFC)

Award Winner – Deborah O’Reilly (Elsternwick Auskick)


Junior Coach of the Year 

Finalists – Haydn O’Leary (St Bedes/Mentone JFC), Trevor Vearing (Cheltenham JFC), Simon Johnston (Highett JFC), Dale Bowles (Mordialloc-Braeside JFC), Tim Caldwell (East Sandringham JFC)

Award Winner – Kevin Dillon (Port Melbourne JFC)


Youth Coach of the Year 

Finalists – Adam Richards (Cheltenham JFC), Steve Hall (St Peters FC), Craig Lovett (East Brighton Vampires JFC), and Chris White (Oakleigh JFC)

Award Winner – Brendan Murphy (Dingley JFC)


Special Recognition Award – Sandy Chalmers (Dingley Auskick)

Outstanding Service to Australian Rules Football Award – Paul Jemmeson (Bentleigh Auskick & JFC)

Congratulations to all those recognised as finalists in the SMJFL & AFL Victoria Inner-Southern Region end-of-season Awards. It was a fantastic day of celebration and a big thank you to those that help run our league and Australian rules football programs within the Inner-Southern Region – We couldn’t do it without you!! See you in 2016!!